In New Jersey, where the casino industry is still reeling from Governor Chris Christie’s unexpected veto of a bill that would regulate and legalize online gambling, experts are still predicting that regulation will happen. The question is, when.
“Well, no one seems to know exactly what the next step will be,” writes Larry Josephson at Covers.com. “Sponsors of the legislation are talking about massaging the language to make it more acceptable to the governor rather than circling the wagons for an override vote, and everyone seems to think the issue is headed to New Jersey voters in the fall.”
“The governor supposedly has concerns about the state’s ability to prevent abuses of the system; some fear, for instance, the emergence of unregulated, backroom Internet gambling halls, and the inability to prevent youth and nonresident access,” New Jersey’s Courier News editorializes in an article entitled “Internet gaming bill still a good bet to succeed”.
“Those are fair concerns,” the editorial continues, “and a gaming industry spokesman agreed that some tightening of the regulations is needed. We imagine those obstacles can be conquered.”
“Of course it’s a setback but it does allow us to go back and fix the things that were problematic,” Melanie Brenner, director of the U.S. Online Gaming Association, said in the Covers.com article. “Such as the stipulation that players be New Jersey residents rather than any one geographically located within the state of New Jersey.”
For casino and poker affiliates, of course, the New Jersey veto may have been good news in disguise, since that potential law — just like other proposed bills in states like Florida and California — would have made online gambling an intrastate only affair.
“We firmly believe that licensing and regulating online poker is the best and most effective way to protect consumers, protect Americans’ internet freedom and generate much needed revenue,” Poker Players Alliance (PPA) Chairman Alphonse D’Amato said in a statement.
“However, the PPA also firmly believes that given the borderless nature of the internet, these interests would be best served by federal legislation that would provide licensing and regulation of interstate poker, as opposed to state-by-state regulation, whereby players in New Jersey could only play with other players in the Garden State.”